NCJW Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Title IX
June 21, 2012, Washington, DC – On June 23, the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the legislation that requires gender equality in education. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
“June 23 is the 40th anniversary of a simple idea, that ‘No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.’ Long a goal of NCJW, gender equity in educational opportunity, funding, and hiring has made enormous strides in the decades since 1972.
“Title IX has bolstered women’s equality in many aspects of the nation’s education system, and its reach has extended to less well-publicized terrain. The Office of Civil Rights in the US Department of Education recently determined that bullying based on sex and sexual harassment of students, including acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.
“Title IX’s impact on school and college sports has gotten the most attention. In the 1970s a young Joan Benoit was limited to races no longer than 880 yards, along with her peers attending Maine public schools. In 1984, Benoit won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles games. Yet despite enormous progress, disparities in athletic venues, equipment, coaching, and opportunities remain around the country.
“Much remains to be done elsewhere as well. The number of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics continues to lag. But perhaps the best news about Title IX is that it reaffirms the strategy of attacking discrimination through the tool of enforcement. It proves that you can indeed change behavior and cultural norms by putting some teeth in the effort to discourage discrimination. Those who allege ‘you can’t legislate morality’ miss the point. Title IX changed behavior, and attitudes followed. For that, we salute those who championed Title IX 40 years ago and look forward to the progress sure to be made in the next 40 years.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.
Contact: Brianne Nadeau